Executive Committee

KOS Logo

Executive Committee

Minutes of a Meeting held on Thursday 23 March 2016 at 7:00pm

At West Faversham Community Centre, Bysing Wood Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 7RH


Present: Martin Coath, (Chair), Jack Chantler, Mike Henty, Andy Lawson, Norman McCanch, Keith Privett, Chris Roome, Brendan Ryan and Stephen Wood.

  1. Chairman’s welcome

Apologies for absence were received from: Ken Lodge, Robin Mace, Tony Morris, Geoff Orton, Ray O’Reilly, Anthea Skiffington, and Barry Wright.

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2015 were accepted as an accurate record.

  1. Publicity and Website

BR reported that KOS now has 568 twitter an 317 facebook followers, and numbers continue to grow steadily. Even some notable technophobes are now visiting and posting on the facebook page, and use of the KOS Forum has declined in proportion. Members discussed the relative merits of the site remaining open to all comers, or being restricted to paid-up KOS members, and the overwhelming balance of opinion was in favour of it remaining open. C pointed out that most new membersarenow recruited via facebook, and initiate and renew their subscriptions by means of PayPal, and this saves considerable administrative effort.

BR said that some work remains outstanding on the KOS website, for instance the photo gallery and trip reports, and CR suggested there should be direct links to renew subscriptions and to email KOS.

SW noted that very few postings had been made on the Forum in the last year and that it was in effect redundant. Members were in agreement that it had outlived its usefulness and should be closed down. BR agreed to remove the link from the website. 

Action: Brendan Ryan

BR raised the matter of procuring a new display stand for use at meetings. Several members and others had commented on the rather amateur display materials that had been used during the Atlas launch, and he believed that we should invest in something more appealing to the eye. He agreed to research this and to circulate more information and costs when available.

Action: Brendan Ryan

  1. Membership

CR discussed his proposal to abolish the concessionary rate of £9.00, which until now has been available on application to the Membership Secretary. The Executive Committee approved the proposal and CR will contact those affected by the change.


Action: Chris Roome

  1. Kent Bird Report

KP reported that KBR 2014 is nearly ready to be sent to the printer, and should be delivered to members within the next few weeks. The Chairman thanked Keith and his colleagues for their continuing efforts.

Action: Keith Privett

  1. Kent Breeding Bird Atlas

SW and NM summarised recent discussion concerning the proposed winter atlas. The original data used to produce the distribution maps have still not been located, and without these it will not be possible to progress the project. NM also expressed considerable doubt as to the adequacy of the data even if recovered, and felt that observations recorded at different times and at different locations through successive winter periods could not usefully be pooled to give an accurate picture of distribution. He pointed out that while distribution in the breeding season remained consistent during any given year, the same could not be said of winter distribution, which could shift significantly within a single season.

BR felt that it would be difficult to justify the expense of the project, and that a print-run of 500 copies would be the most that could be expected to be sold.

SW agreed to keep the EC informed of further developments.

Action: Stephen Wood

  1. KOS News

NM reported that the latest issue of the newsletter is ready to go online and carries an obituary for Owen Sweeney and an article by Andrew Appleton on Hayesden Lake as well as the usual features. It is equivalent to 30 to 32 pages in length, and as the printed version is limited to 24 pages, the latter will necessarily have to be paired down.

Norman also announced that he hoped to increase the frequency of publication to bimonthly during 2017, which members agreed would be very welcome.

Action: Norman McCanch

  1. Treasurer’s Report

MH referred to his previously circulated report (Attachment A).

Sales of the Atlas had been poor and have now settled down to around four copies a month. MH expressed his disappointment that so few KOS members had bought a copy.

The costs of production of the KBR have not increased as much as was projected and this has saved almost £600.

MH stated that he did not consider it necessary to increase the subscription rate above its present £12pa.

Action: Mike Henty

  1. Indoor Meetings

The Chairman reported that AS had stepped down from organising the indoor meeting programme and that in view of declining attendances – averaging 10-20 – it was time to consider the future of the programme. Several members cited the rise of online birding websites and social media as an underlying reason for the declining popularity of indoor meetings, and the unattractive prospect of having to travel many miles at night in winter as another. It was generally felt that some recent events had not been pitched at a level appropriate to the experience and knowledge of the audience.

BR suggested that half-day conference-style meetings with 3 or 4 speakers might be more popular, while MC pointed out that members’ meetings were also usually quite well attended.

As a result of discussion it was decided to cancel the 2016-17 programme and BR agreed to draft a report and recommendations for the EC to consider.

The Chairman and members noted their warm appreciation of Anthea’s work, and she will be asked to remain on the EC as an ordinary member.

Action: Martin Coath, Brendan Ryan

  1. Outdoor Meetings

Discussion was postponed in the absence of RO.

Action: Ray O’Reilly

  1. Editorial & Records Sub-Committee

In the absence of BW, discussion was postponed

Action: Barry Wright

  1. Conservation & Surveys Sub-Committee

NM reported on the recent discussions in the Sub Committee including the proposed Lower Thames Crossing. The EC agreed that our stance should be to support the position of the RSPB that all the current proposals are unwelcome and damaging to the environment, but that the least damaging version of Option C was preferred. This involves a link road from the A2 to a tunnel portal to the west of Higham.

NM further reported that he had been contacted by The Hawk Conservancy Trust, a charity based at Andover, Hants (and not to be confused with The Hawk and Owl Trust). The Trust wishes to expand its research activity and had requested assistance from KOS members. NM would be publicising this in KOS News.

A KOS member had complained that commercial forestry at Hemsted Forest might be having an adverse effect on breeding Nightjars. NM had discussed this with a conservation manager at Forestry Enterprise who had welcomed his interest and expressed a willingness to cooperate with KOS in  any way they could.


Action: Norman McCanch

  1. Any other business

Sussex Ornithological Society

AL reported on his recent discussions with the Sussex Ornithological Society (Attachment B) and felt that there were several examples of their procedure and activities that we should consider adopting. SOS has around 2000 members, which is far more than KOS, despite the similar population size of the two counties, and their income is considerably greater. There are more similarities than differences between the societies however, and they, like us place considerable emphasis on their website and on-line communications. AL noted that SOS have links to schools and colleges, and their AGM is combined with a scientific conference. He also reported on aspects of their committee structures.

A wide-ranging discussion followed and AL agreed to follow up several ideas generated. The Chairman and members thanked him for his efforts.

Action: Andy Lawson

  1. Time and date of next meeting

Wednesday  23 November 2016  at 7.00pm at West Faversham Community Centre

Attachment A



2015 Accounts

The accounts for 2015 have been approved by the independent examiner Keith Ellis.

Kent Breeding Bird Atlas

The costs and income for the year were as follows:


The requirement to value the stock of books remaining at 31st December 2015 at the lower of cost or net realisable value necessitated the estimation of what might be sold during 2016. A conservative view was taken and the stock was valued at £500.

Sales during the year amounted to £6,081 representing the sale of less than 500 copies. The family of Jim Martin requested that any donations made in his memory be allocated to a specific project and the atlas was the most appropriate. As can be seen in the Notes to the Accounts, the a net deficit £4,942 has been charged to the Birds of Kent Fund. In 2013 £552 for producing the maps for the atlas and in 2014 £216 related to software updates had also been charged against this Fund.

Regular Activities

Subscriptions £7,521

Up by £179 on 2014; no doubt the result of being able to buy an atlas for £15 rather than £22.50. How many will renew?

Gift Aid £823

Up by £4 but given mortality and other losses it does mean that Chris has been getting new members to sign up.

Donations £1,054

Donations re Jim Martin of £345 relate to the Atlas (see above) leaving £709. Of this, £500 was a legacy from Ray Cordero.

Interest £332

Down by £40 as a result of further pruning of interest rates and use of funds for the Atlas.

Meetings £172

Down by £52 reflecting the severe fall in attendances at indoor meetings.

Sales of KBR £246

Back up to near the average level of recent years; 2014 was exceptionally low.

Sale of DVD £20

Still interest being shown!

Cost of producing the KBR £5,603

My estimate for inflation used in the 2014 accounts was too high, resulting in the cost of the 2013 KBR being less than forecast and requiring the over-provision to be written back in 2015 together with a reduction in the provision for the 2014 KBR, totalling a £597 favourable adjustment.

Other Printing, etc. £649

Down £46 on 2014

Meetings £679

Of this total, £162 relates Executive Committee meetings (2014 – zero) leaving £517 for Indoor Meetings; this compares with £623 for 2014.

Insurance £113

No change for a few years.

Website & IT expenses £1,459

The increase over 2014 is the cost of getting the new website up and running in 2015. It is not known what level of expenditure to expect on an on-going basis.

Depreciation £130

We have now fully written off the costs of our laptops and projector.

General Fund

There was a surplus on our regular activities in the year of £1,190 that has been credited to the General Fund.

Bank Account Balances

As at 9th March our total funds were £46,127


Cash, current, PayPal & deposit accounts £16,882

90-Day Account £8,301

Barclays Bond (12 month to November 2016) £20,944



Attachment B

To Andy Lawson, Kent Ornithological Society.

Reference your email of 10th February and my brief response, here are some notes about the set up within the SOS and how we work.

SOS membership currently stands at just over 2000 members and much like the KOS I suspect the bulk of our members are probably aged 50 and over. As I mentioned we do have eight under 18 members and four student members. Some of the under 18s are already taking a serious interest in helping the Society in a number of ways.

Our present subscription rate for Full membership is £14, with Joint members living at the same address paying £17. Under 18s and Students (age 18-20) pay £4.50. We have a Life membership category (£200) and a Joint Life membership (£250). We currently have 122 Life/Joint Life memberships.

Members receive a quarterly newsletter and a copy of our annual Sussex Bird Report. A programme of walks/outings is arranged each year for members. These are to venues spread (hopefully evenly!) across the county and beyond, and each is led by a local, experienced birder who knows the area well. These events thus show members new and unfamiliar birding spots away from their local patch. Our leaders will help new and inexperienced birders to improve their field identification skills. Occasionally we have arranged specific outings for birding “beginners”, and we aim to make some annual outings “family friendly” and public transport accessible.

The Society was set up in 1962 so it has taken many years to gain the current level of membership. We reached the 1500 mark in 2000 and stayed around the 1500/1600 level until 2011/2012 when we almost reached the 1700 mark. The leap to the current total has largely been achieved with the publicity attached to the publication of our new book “The Birds of Sussex” in 2014 which we were able to offer at a special price including a discounted one year’s membership of the Society. Our ability to achieve this was largely due to the generosity of members who sponsored individual species accounts in advance of publication, either in their name or perhaps in memory of someone. This sponsorship raised over £30,000 towards the publication costs, and enabled us to keep the cover price so reasonable at £25 (pre-publication) and £35 (post publication).

Our website is the main source of new members, with application forms and standing order forms being downloadable from the site. We still attract a few members with leaflets displayed at events and at some reserve and visitor centres but the website accounts for more than 90% of applications.  Our Webmaster and Sightings Team do a great job for the Society, with the site attracting many visits every day. The sightings page is the most popular feature, being updated daily with many sightings from across the county. We recently expanded the team who look after and vet the sightings to five persons to ease the workload which until recently had been carried by one of our previous Recorders.

All of the Society Officers and Committee members are volunteers and they get no “perks” in return for the enormous contribution that they collectively make to ensure the efficient and effective running of the Society.

Meeting on a regular basis throughout the year our “governing body” is the SOS Council, consisting of the Officers and up to 6 Ordinary Members all of whom are proposed and voted for at our AGM. All Council members serve for a period of five years but a Council member who takes on an Officer post (say Secretary, Recorder etc.) may serve a further five years in that post. Alongside the Council and reporting to it we have a Scientific Committee, a Membership & Publicity Committee, SOS Records Committee (SOSRC) and a small Programme Committee. Each of these Committees may contain one or more Council members. Each committee keeps Council informed by the provision of meeting minutes and must seek Council approval for any major decisions or changes that they propose.

The Scientific Committee is responsible for all aspects of bird surveying and recording, the vetting of records of scarce and rare species through the SOSRC, the organisation of survey work and the production of the annual Sussex Bird Report. On this Committee we are exceedingly fortunate to have an extremely energetic and committed Database Manager who looks after all aspects of the computing and software that enable the Society to maintain the huge database of bird record data that results from all the survey work and individuals recording. A team of volunteers helps with the input of data but this officer produces all the software routines to extract the data necessary for species accounts, survey results, distribution maps etc.  Our Database Manager wishes to retire and we are currently trying to establish a team to take over from him.  In addition our Webmaster and a non-member colleague of his are developing a new recording database as the current one is nearing obsolescence.

We are also fortunate to have a very motivated and “professional” BTO Rep for Sussex as a Scientific Committee member who organises and runs training courses for survey workers and with our network of 10km stewards ensures the best coverage possible for all BTO and our own Society surveys.  She has also recently appointed an Assistant BTO Rep.  During the Atlas fieldwork she set up a very well-used Yahoo e-mail group (Sussex BTO) which continues to be used for communications, feedback, requests for survey volunteers, plus questions and advice for and by those involved in various surveys.

In terms of the production of the annual Sussex Bird Report, working closely and under the guidance of our Bird Report Editor, we are able to call on the services of a number of skilled volunteers who write the species accounts, provide additional scientific papers and assist with proof reading.

The Membership and Publicity Committee meet regularly to discuss and consider all aspects of how the Society presents itself and attracts new members. This includes the quarterly newsletter, its Editor being a Committee member, and the website design and functionality. This Committee is responsible for all aspects of the setup, content and running of the Society’s annual Conference, where one member takes on the bulk of the work (the Conference Organiser), its AGM and publicity stalls at various events throughout Sussex – though having sold out of “The Birds of Sussex” this last exercise will be much more low key than it was in 2014. It also organises a “President’s Evening” which is a social evening for volunteers where they can meet with others to chat, plus a New Year Bird Race which over the past few years has raised an average of £1500 p.a. for our conservation fund.

One of the M & P Committee members is keen on social media and has kindly taken on keeping up to date Facebook and Twitter accounts for us, which we hope will attract younger members and keep them on board.

The Programme Committee devises the annual programme of walks/outings and arrange for leaders for each event. They organise the printing of the programme, which currently doubles up as a membership card, and the new programme is mailed out to members with the Winter newsletter and subscription reminder in December.

Members are able to receive the quarterly newsletter via email as a pdf file instead of a printed copy if they wish.

You will have noted that despite the size of the SOS we still rely on a relatively small number of Officers and Committee (some of whom are real key players!) to organise all aspects of the running of the Society and although we have usually been able to find replacements when Officers/Committee Members retire, certain of our current key players will be very hard to replace!

Exec minutes 30 July 15

 Executive Committee:  26th February 2015

 Minutes of a Meeting held on Thursday 26February 2015 at 7:00pm at Brogdale Farm, Brogdale Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8XZ

Present: Martin Coath(Chair), Jack Chantler, Mike Henty,Norman McCanch, Keith Privett, Chris Roome, Mike Roser, Stephen Wood.Barry Wright.

1.         Chairman’s Welcome and apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from, Robin Mace, Tony Morris,Geoff Orton, Brendan Ryan and AntheaSkiffington

2.         Minutes of the last meeting

 The minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2014(Attachment A),were accepted as an accurate record.

3.         Promotions and Publicity

 BR was unable to be present, but had spoken with JC, who updated members on progress with the website re-design. Most of the work has now been completed, the main exceptions being the photograph gallery and persisting problems with defining editing rights to the blog spots. Brendan is being assisted by Nigel Jarman.

After a general discussion, it was resolved to ask BR to complete the work by May 2015, and MC agreed to discuss this with him when he returned from holiday.

BW volunteered to publicise the re-designed website via the KOS Facebook page and suggested that BR might be able to do the same via the KOS Twitter account.

Action: Martin Coath, Brendan Ryan, Barry Wright

 4.         Membership

 CR reported that membership continues to fall, and that a number of subscriptions are significantly overdue. He has discontinued membership benefits to those concerned, and this has had the effect of accelerating the decline. There are currently 672 paid-up members.

He also highlighted the phenomenon of new members who do not renew their subscriptions after the first year. 32 new members enrolled during 2014. Email addresses are known for 430 members. Two-thirds of members pay by standing order.

It was noted that the issue of membership numbers is to be discussed at the AGM on 9 April, and various suggestions were made for ways to improve the recruitment. CR suggested that we should give more publicity to our conservation activities. BW agreed to contact New Generation Birders to find out if they have any members in Kent who might be interested in joining KOS.


Action: Chris Roome, Barry Wright

 5.         Kent Bird Report

 KP reported that preparation of KBR 2013 was running about two months behind schedule because of the late submission of some species summaries, and also the late publication of the Dungeness Bird Observatory Report. He believes that it would be helpful to recruit additional writers, and MR expressed an interest in joining the team after he gives up his present role as Outdoor Meetings Organiser. AntheaSkiffington has also volunteered to help with proof-reading. KP thanked them on behalf of the Editorial Committee.

He also appealed for more photographs to be made available, and BW agreed to provide additional rarity photos.

Action: Keith Privett, Mike Roser,AntheaSkiffington, Barry Wright

6.         Kent Breeding Bird Atlas 2008 – 13

 SW informed the meeting that the text, maps and photographs were virtually complete. It had been decided to have hard covers for the Atlas in order to make it more durable, and he was awaiting a final price for this from LTD Design.

CR estimated that members would probably account for 400 copies, and emphasised that they should be offered some degree of discount over non-members. MH suggested that members be offered free P&P. NM pointed out that the Atlas would be an important document to be consulted when planning applications are submitted.

It was resolved that a small group be set up to take forward arrangements for publicity, pricing and distribution, and CR agreed to organise this in conjunction with MH and SW.

Action: Stephen Wood, Chris Room, Mike Henty

 7.         KOS News

Norman McCanch reported that he continues to accumulate material for future editions of the newsletter, and that the next issue is on schedule for March.

MR volunteered to write a summary of his five years of experience of organising outdoor meetings, and will send it to NM.

Action: Norman McCanch, Mike Roser

 8.         Treasurer’s Report

 MH drew members’ attention to his draft accounts for 2014, previously circulated (Attachment B). He proposed that discussion should be deferred to the AGM, and this was agreed.

Action: Mike Henty

 9.         Indoor Meetings

 In the absence of AS this item was deferred until the next meeting.

 Action: AntheaSkiffington

10.       Outdoor Meetings

 On behalf of the Committee, the Chairman thanked and congratulated Mike Roser on his five years of service in organising outdoor meetings. These have been very much enjoyed by participants, and attendances have been consistently good, despite some very challenging conditions, such as wet and windy Kentish winters and disruptive engineering work at Oare Marshes. Mike announced that Ray O’Reilly had kindly agreed to take over from him, and members expressed their appreciation to both Mike and Ray.

In passing, it was noted that as MR would no longer be attending future EC meetings, he would be unable to arrange the use of Brogdale. SW agreed to look into suitable alternatives.

Action: Mike Roser, Ray O’Reilly, Stephen Wood

 11.       Website and Forum

See Item 3.

12.       Editorial and Records Sub-Committee

 BW discussed issues of confidentiality concerning certain species such as Ruddy Duck, and agreed to circulate guidelines on reporting.

He reported that Chris Hindle and Malcolm McVail have both agreed to extend the period of their membership of the Rarity Panel, and EC members expressed their thanks and approval.

Action: Barry Wright

13.       Conservation and Surveys Sub-Committee

 NM reported that the C&S Committee had met on 18 December 2014. He highlighted the continuing difficulty in recruiting members to take part in survey work. He illustrated this by his experience of the WeBS scheme, which is poorly covered in parts of Kent. However, as the organiser for West and East (but not North) Kent, he had recently managed to take on two new counters. Nevertheless, he could not be confident of committing KOS to future BTO or RSPB surveys.

Action: Norman McCanch

14.       Any Other Business

 None reported

15.       Date and Time of the Next Meeting:

 The 64th Annual General Meeting of the Kent Ornithological Society

Thursday 9th April 2015 at 7.15pm  at Grove Green Community Hall, Grovewood Drive, Maidstone ME14 5TQ.



Executive Committee 30th October 2014 

 Minutes of a Meeting held on Thursday 30 October 2014 at 7:00pm at Brogdale Farm, Brogdale Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8XZ

Present: Martin Coath(Chair), Jack Chantler, Mike Henty, Keith Privett, Mike Roser, Brendan Ryan, AntheaSkiffington and Stephen Wood.

1.         Chairman’s Welcome and apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from: Norman McCanch, Robin Mace, Tony Morris,Chris Roome, and Barry Wright.

2.         Minutes of the last meeting

 The minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2014(Attachment A), were accepted as an accurate record.

3.         Promotions and Publicity

 BR gave a detailed account of the redesign of the KOS Website, which is nearly complete. The result should be launched in the next couple of weeks. Much of the existing content and a great deal of new material will be available on the new site. Where old content, such as the Atlas pages, cannot be transferred, they will continue in the old format with appropriate links to the new site.

Twitter feeds will be supported, and selected tweets will automatically be displayed on the main page. PCs, mobiles and tablets will be supported and content will automatically be formatted to match the receiving device. Links to members’ blogs will also be provided, and in future, committee meetings will be displayed here in pdf format. A list is being drawn up of links to other birding societies and similar sources of information.

MR asked if it would be possible to restrict access to certain parts of the website to KOS members. In reply, BR felt that it would be neither practicable – and would require tedious password protection – nor particularly desirable, as he believed that the site would act as a powerful incentive for visitors to take up membership.

It was suggested that obituaries should in future appear on-line, and this received wide support, although it was pointed out that this need not preclude their inclusion in the KBR where appropriate.

The Chairman thanked Brendan for all the work that he and his colleagues have put into this project and looked forward to seeing the new site in action.

Action: Brendan Ryan

 4.         Membership

 CR was unfortunately not able to be present, but forwarded his report. This showed that on October 21 2014, the Society had 623 fully paid-up ordinary members. A further 9 members continue to pay at the reduced concessionary rate of £9, while 32 are currently in arrears. Thus the total membership stands at 664 – an increase of 13 since the last meeting. Over the last year, however, membership has contracted, which CR attributes to his taking a more robust stance towards those in arrears.

Action: Chris Roome

 5.         Kent Bird Report

 MC congratulated KP on the successful production and publication of KBR 2012, and members of the EC warmly endorsed his views.

KP described progress on KBR 2013, and is presently awaiting data from Robin Mace. He noted that the team of species group writers is now down to fewer than a dozen, and that he hoped to recruit more. MC agreed to take on the shearwaters report

A wide-ranging discussion followed, covering the problems of proof-reading and the validation of records supported by only a single observer.

Action: Keith Privett, Jack Chantler, Robin Mace

 6.         Kent Breeding Bird Atlas 2008 – 13

 SW provided an update on the Atlas project. He told members that the introductory section had been edited and proof-read, and he distributed copied of the contents page by way of illustration.

The species accounts receiving their final editing, and John Cantelo has kindly agreed to proof-read the result. SW also thanked AntheaSkiffington for proof-reading the introductory section. He told the Committee that he had recently given a presentation of the project to the annual conference of the Kent Field Club, and that he believed that it had been well-received.

Members discussed the financial aspects of the project. MH stated that he believed that the Atlas should be priced so that the Society does not make a loss overall, although he recognised that recovery of the outlay would take several years. MC felt that KOS members should be offered the publication at a discount – perhaps free postage and packing, for instance – and this was supported by members.

Finally, there was general support for a companion volume to cover winter birds in Kent, and SW agreed to raise this with his colleagues.

Action: Stephen Wood

7.         KOS News

In the absence of Norman McCanch, this item was deferred.

Action: Norman McCanch

 8.         Treasurer’s Report

 MH presented his Finance Report (Attachment B). The cost of the KBR 2012 was significantly higher than had been anticipated due to increased postal charges because of its extra weight, compared to the previous edition. MH led a discussion about future KBR costs, and it was resolved to continue its funding from the Society’s reserves, rather than to reduce its size or quality. Members felt that the KBR is highly valued by subscribers, and that the membership would not wish to see its quality deteriorate. MH considered that it was unnecessary to consider an increase in the membership subscription rate before the 2016 AGM. It was agreed, however that the time had come to withdraw the concessionary rate, and that in future, all members would be asked to pay the same subscription.

Action: Mike Henty

  9.         Indoor Meetings

 AS discussed recent and forthcoming meetings. As an experiment, the November meeting will be a Members’ Evening, with three short contributions given by KOS members. BR and JC agreed to present ’20 years of Bockhill’, together with an account of a recent trip to Ethiopia, and it was hoped that Andy Lawson would be able to give a talk on Shetland.

As announced that the annual Quiz Night would be in February next year.

 Action: AntheaSkiffington

10.       Outdoor Meetings

 MR described the two trips that had taken place so far this season. There had been fog to start with at Sandwich Bay, but this was turned to advantage as members   were able to observe a ringing session carried out by SBBO volunteers, which they all found very interesting.

The most recent trip had been to Dungeness, led as usual by Andy Lawson, but MR had not been able to attend in person and was awaiting feedback from participants.

The next outing will be to Oare Marshes, but Mike warned that vehicle access will be difficult, as the Environment Agency is carrying out work at the site.

Action: Mike Roser

 11.       Website and Forum

 Robin Mace was unable to attend, but had sent an email, in which he stated that the COBRA replacement system would be used for 2014 data, but that he hoped to run the two systems in parallel at first.

Action: Robin Mace

 12.       Editorial and Records Sub-Committee

 In the absence of Barry Wright, this item was deferred.

Action: Barry Wright


13.       Conservation and Surveys Sub-Committee

 SW reported that the C&S Subcommittee had not met for some time, but that a meeting would be held before the end of the year. He noted that the long-standing controversy about the proposed Lodge Hill development continues to rumble on, and has become a significant issue in the Rochester and Strood by-election.

NM has been contacted by Collette Hall, of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust concerning a wild swan census to be carried out in January 2015. This will be done as an extension of the usual WeBS count, and Norman will co-ordinate it on our behalf.

He has also been in discussion with Hayley New, of the RSPB, on a possible conservation strategy for Turtle Doves in East Kent, which it is hoped, will involve local farmers. He will report back on this.

Action: Norman McCanch, Stephen Wood

14.       Any Other Business

 MH drew the committee’s attention to an article in the RSPB Life Fellows’ Magazine concerning the restoration to grazing marsh of Great Bell’s Farm, on the Isle of Sheppey

15.       Date and Time of the Next Meeting:

 The Next Meeting of the Executive Committee

TBA. Suggested dates 19  or 26 February 2015. Please let SW know which of these would suit best.

Attachment B

Kent Ornithological Society
Charity No. 212489
Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st December 2014
2013 Statement of Financial Activities 2014
7,478 Subscriptions, net of PayPal fees (£36, 2013 £37) 7,342
816 Income tax recovered under Gift Aid 819
196 Donations 577
536 Interest 372
286 Meetings 224
161 Sale of Kent Bird Reports 34
Sale of DVD 20
9,473 9,388
Estimated cost of 2014 KBR 6,100
5,123 Under-provision for earlier KBRs 1,273 7,373
396 Other Printing, Postage, Stationery, etc. 695
706 Meetings 623
113 Insurance 113
232 Website & IT Expenses 555
233 Donations
552 Costs of Atlas of Breeding Birds 216
55 Sundry Purchases 198
260 Depreciation of Computers & Equipment 140
7,670 9,913
1,803 Surplus/(Deficit) for the Year (525)
30,434 Total Reserves brought forward 32,237
32,237 Total Reserves carried forward [Note (a)] 31,712
2013 Balance Sheet 2014
270 Tangible Fixed Assets: [Note (b)] 130
Current Assets:
36,534 Barclays Bond & CAF 90 Day A/c 28,904
2,881 Cash at Bank – Current & PayPal A/cs 12,732
2,470 Cash at Bank – Deposit A/c 2,472
100 Cash in Hand 119 44,227
113 Debtors & Prepayments 269
42,368 44,626
Current Liabilities:
Provision for KBRs 11,800
10,131 Other Creditors 1,114 12,914
32,237 Net Assets 31,712
17,092 Birds of Kent Fund 16,876
15,145 General Fund 14,836
32,237 31,712

Notes to draft 2014 Accounts


Main Differences 2013 v 2014


 Subscriptions £7,330

This is £136 down on 2013, which was £310 down on 2012. In 2008 we recorded the lowest level of subscriptions at £6,820; in 2000 (the earliest year for which I have records) it was £7,909.

Donations £577

This is £381 higher than 2013 because we received £450 in memory of George Shannon whereas in 2013 the only non-regular donation was £50 in respect of a talk given by Chris Roome.

Interest £372

Down by £164 partly because interest rates fell still farther and partly because £8,000 was transferred from an interest-earning account to our current account to fund the atlas (but not utilised so far).

Meetings £224

Down by £62 even though we had one more meeting in 2014 (the October 2013 meeting was cancelled). Attendances continue to fall and the average admission receipts are now £34 per meeting while the hire of the Hall is £39 per night and the average cost of a speaker £90; net cost £95 per meeting.

Sales of KBRs £34

Down by £127. This is always a variable number but this is the lowest of the current millennium.


 KBR £7,373

An increase of £2,250 of which £1,150 is the extra costs of the 2012 and 2013 KBRs not provided for in the 2013 accounts.

Other Printing, Postage, etc. £695

An increase of £299 of which £105 is the cost of posting our newsletters (zero in 2013) and the balance is increased Memberships Secretary’s postage.

Meetings £623

This is lower by £83 primarily because we had a “free” members evening.

Website & IT £555

An increase of £323 represented by the cost of the website refurbishment £425 less savings on other costs.

Donations £0

We made no donations in 2014, compared to £233 in 2013.

Atlas £216

These further costs will be charged to the Birds of Kent Fund as were the 2013 costs.

Sundry Purchases £198

This is our contribution to the cost of digitising George Shannon’s films.

Depreciation £140

This is £120 down on 2013 as we only have one fixed asset (a laptop) not fully written off (the balance to be charged in the 2015 accounts).


There is a deficit for the year of £525 of which £216 is charged against the Birds of Kent Fund leaving £309 to go against General Reserves. Given that 2014 has borne the extra costs of earlier years’ KBRs of £1,150 that (fingers crossed) should not be repeated to this extent, a surplus is expected in 2015.